Tag Archives: Food Glorious Food

Magic (stuffed) Mushrooms

I’ve managed, once again, to impress myself with my culinary prowess. And, in a completely altruistic (and modest, don’t forget modest – heh) gesture, I think it’s only fair that I share the outcome of my most recent dinner-time endeavors.

I give you Magical Mushrooms!

Yes, a giant photo WAS necessary… look how pretty they are!

And here’s how you make ’em!


  • 4 Baby portabella mushrooms (340 grams)
  • 1/2 C Orange & red peppers, diced
  • 1 Green onion, chopped
  • 2 C Fresh baby spinach
  • Approx. 8 grape tomatoes, sliced in thirds
  • 2 tbsp. Kraft 100% Parmesan
  • 1/3 C (30 grams) Compliments Balance-brand shredded mozzarella
  • Olive Oil Pam cooking spray
  • Clubhouse Garlic Plus


  • With a spoon, scrape out the stems and gills from the mushrooms
  • Preheat the oven to 450°
  • Coat a skillet with cooking spray and set over medium heat
  • Add the green onion and peppers (and a dash of the Clubhouse), and saute for a minute or two
  • Add the cleaned spinach and cook until wilted/tender (about 3-4 minutes)
  • Spray the bottom of each mushroom with cooking spray and place on a baking sheet pan
  • Place in the oven for 1-2 minutes just to heat the mushrooms
  • Season the inside of each mushroom with the Clubhouse seasoning
  • Divide the vegetable mixture between the mushrooms, then top with tomato and cheese
  • Bake for approx. 10 minutes (or until cheese is melty and bubbly and starting to turn brown)
  • ENJOY!

Calories: 275 | Fat: 10g | Sodium: 464mg | Carbs: 30g | Fibre: 9g | Protein: 24g


Happy Thanksgiving!

Hooray for long weekends! Hooray for mid-summer weather in mid-October! And hooray for tasty, tasty feasts of far too much food after a far-too-long run. Okay, not really. But it was the farthest this girl’s ever run; and it did have the bonus of pre-emptively burning off a whole dinner’s worth of calories (ish).

We had our Fiesta of Yums yesterday with LX’s family. And for my contribution, I brought dessert. It was a creation of my own based a couple of different recipes I’d found. But mine was better (feigning modesty in your own blog just seems gauche.)  And had half the calories & fat. I know. I think I’m pretty awesome, too.

Caramel Pecan Apple Crisp

Apple Filling
5 large Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1/2 cup Splenda
1 tbsp. whole wheat all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1 cup Smuckers No Sugar Added Caramel Sundae Sauce
2 tbsp. chopped pecans

1 1/2 cups whole wheat all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Irresistibles brown sugar blend
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 cup applesauce


  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • In a medium bowl, toss apples with Splenda, flour, cinnamon, lemon juice, and water
  • Spread apple mixture evenly into a 9 x 13″ pan
  • Drizzle caramel sauce, then sprinkle pecans over apple mixture
  • In another bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar blend, oats, and applesauce
  • Spoon mixture evenly over apples
  • Bake in preheated oven for about 45 minutes (apple mixture will bubble and topping will be golden brown)
  • Breyer’s Smooth & Dreamy Half-Fat Vanilla Bean ice cream is a PERFECT topper (in case you were at all curious)

A snap to whip up & it tastes FAR more decadent than it actually is.

I made this the night before and popped it back into the oven at around 300°, so it was re-heated thoroughly by dessert time 🙂


Muffins and (Half) Marathon Training

I’ve been MIA for far too long and it’s high time for a bit of an update. So what’s new, you ask? And I’m sure you were. Asking, that is.

Well, honestly, pretty much the same ol’, same ol’… I’ve just been failing a wee bit with my time management skills. In fact, as I type, I’m still snuggled cozily in my fuzzy robe with a coffee to my left and a fat, sleeping kitteh to my right.

But what I should be doing is getting off my arse, lacing on my sneakers and heading out for my 15k training run. I know, I know – why procrastinate this far along in the game?  I’m not. Not really. I just need to be well and truly awake before I head out to abuse my body for that length of time. I’m almost there. One more cup of coffee and a bit of peanut butter and carby goodness and I should be good to go.

In the meantime, let me share with you my latest creation:

Oatmeal Apple Blueberry Muffins

1 cup old fashion rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup brown sugar Splenda
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 egg whites (1/4 cup liquid egg whites)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup blueberries


  • Preheat oven to 400°
  • Soak the oats in milk for about an hour
  • Spray muffin pan with cooking spray (I like Butter-flavoured Pam)
  • Combine the oat mixture with applesauce and egg whites & mix until just combined
  • In a separate bowl measure and whisk the dry ingredients together
  • Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until just combined
  • Fold in blueberries.
    (NOTE:  You reallly do have to be careful that you don’t over-mix this batter or your muffins will end up the consistency of tiny tennis balls )
  • Spoon muffin mixture into muffin pan
  • Bake for 20 minutes
  • Remove from pan, cool and enjoy!

Okay! My artfully-honed procrastination skills are now sated for today. I’m off to run. Enjoy your Sunday!


Life, the Universe, and Everything

This past Saturday I turned 42. And, as any self-respecting nerd will tell you: that is, in fact, the Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything.

Author Douglas Adams’ fictional supercomputer, Deep Thought, spent 7½ million years computing this Ultimate Answer. And, despite my having reached this auspicious number of years alive on our planet, I have yet to be smote with a profusion of enlightenment. Of course, the fact that I most-often act about half that age might have something to do with said lack of wisdom.

Be that as it may – I am fortunate enough that, most years, my birthday lands on a long weekend (during the summer, no less.) Pretty sweet deal, right?

As a kid, though, that sort of sucked. There were no classroom celebrations. And, when it came to having a party with all of my school chums present, most parents had already spirited away my wee pals for family vacations. So it was usually me, my younger brother and my parents when it came to Happy Birthday Weezie Time. Which, in retrospect, wasn’t that bad a deal.

But, now? Now I take great delight in the multiple celebrations that can be scheduled into a weekend with an extra day. And, this year, I got WAY more than just a long weekend. My birthday treats began more than a month before my actual birthday; June 12, to be precise, was when we started celebrating in the Rockstar House.

You see, my husband did something most other husbands would NEVER do. He bought tickets — and took me to see… Glee. Yes, Glee. As in, the Shiny Happy kids from the TV show. And, you know what? Despite his protestations otherwise, I’m pretty sure he enjoyed himself. Because, instead of leaving the room in search of manlier pursuits each week, he sits and watches every PVRd episode with me. He won’t admit it… but I think LX might be a closet Gleek.

But the Pre-Birthday Celebrating wasn’t just limited to one event. Oh no! This year I got a Pre-Birthday Visit with my mom & dad  (an exciting prospect for me, since they live a few provinces away and I don’t get to see them as often as I’d like) and I was regaled with not one, but TWO Pre-Birthday Lunch celebrations with co-workers. Not too shabby.

Mind you, I wouldn’t recommend the restaurant (FIGS – but I wouldn’t bother, unless you have LOADS of time to spare) we chose for the first of the two PB lunches. Not only did they take forever with our order, but they got mine wrong. Credit where credit is due, however: my Eggs Bennie – with Portobello Mushroom instead of boring ol’ ham – was incredibly tasty, once it finally arrived.

Aki Da provided the sushi yums (we ordered in at work) for Part Two of my PB lunch fun. And they even threw in an extra dish at no charge. Unfortunately, the freebie was a bland mushroom roll that none of us really took a shine to. But it’s the thought that counts, right?

I should probably mention, as an aside, that – yes – pretty much all of my birthday celebrations this year did revolve around food. Which plays a large part in why I had to make time for a five-mile run Sunday morning. Totally worth it.

For my birthday proper, LX took me to La Maquette – a gorgeous french restaurant that allowed our entire wedding party to traipse through, last summer,  in order to have photos taken in its adjacent Sculpture Garden.  I’d already been like a fat kid with her nose pressed up against a sweet shop window when it came to this place.  So I think LX knew that, once they’d been nice to me, he really had no choice but to take me there at some point. Lucky for me – it was this weekend!

For anyone in the GTA looking for a great date restaurant — trust me…  you’ll score HUGE brownie points with anyone you take to La Maquette. Not only is this place absolutely gorgeous (all the ivy & overhanging trees manage to drop the temperature on the patio at least 10 degrees – which is a huge deal when the city is continuously issuing Heat Alerts) but they’ve managed to situate everyone such that you don’t feel like your conversation is being overheard by your neighbours at the next table.

Oh, and did I mention the classical guitarist? No streaming iTunes for this joint – no sir! And the food? Magnifique!

After dinner, I decided I had a hankering for a cognac so we decided – rather than spend $55 for two shots at the restaurant (totally guessing at their prices here, incidentally; but I suspect I’m not too far off the mark) – we’d walk around the corner and grab a bottle for the same price and take it home to enjoy on our personal rooftop oasis.

And, as if all of this weren’t enough, I was treated to even more delights the following day. I did haul my arse out of bed early enough to pound out a run, however. So it wasn’t a complete weekend of sloth.

I enjoyed a delightful brunch with LX’s family,  followed by an afternoon of movie watching and then a Girls Night with my BFFs (one of whom toughed out a particularly wretched stomach bug in order to keep the festivities going!)

And, since I did waddle through the aforementioned 5-mile run (turns out it was closer to 5.5, but who’s counting? Oh right – that’d be me), I didn’t feel one iota of guilt when the waitress at our Milestones brunch brought out a complimentary birthday dessert & extra spoons!


Anniversary Rock Star Cupcakes

Two of my lovelies celebrated an anniversary of sorts this weekend – the first anniversary of their band, Arizona Lily. In honour of the occasion, a small gathering of a few friends and  more than a few cocktails was held Chez Murdoch where a good time was had by all.

In addition to  a couple of bottles of cheer, I decided I wanted to contribute some sugar & chocolate to the mix and came up with a pretty tasty concoction, if I do say so myself.

More than one of these pretties, however, will most likely throw you into a diabetic coma… so tread lightly, if you do decide to try out this recipe. These are neither calories-wise nor fat free. I make no apologies.

Mocha Rock Star Cupcakes with Buttery Bailey’s Coffee Icing

1 C strong black coffee (or 2 tbsp. instant coffee + 1 C warm water)
½ C (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
2 C granulated sugar
4 eggs
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 tbsp.  pure vanilla extract
1 C all-purpose flour + 1 C whole wheat all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp.  salt


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Line standard muffin pan with baking cups (recipe makes 24)
  • If you keep such a thing in your home (blargh) combine instant coffee and water; mix well and set aside.
  • In large bowl, cream butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs, one at a time; mix well.
  • Add melted chocolate  (there are a few ways to melt chocolate; I prefer the microwave method), vanilla and coffee mixture; mix well.
  • Combine flour, baking soda and salt in separate bowl.
  • Slowly add to butter mixture; mix well.
  • Spoon into baking cups.
  • Bake 18-20 minutes or until center of cupcake springs back when lightly touched.
  • Cool cupcakes in pan on cooling rack 5-8 minutes.
  • Remove from pan; cool completely before icing.


3.5 C confectioners’ sugar
2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 C butter or margarine, softened
2 tbsp. strong brewed coffee
1 tbsp. Coffee Flavoured Bailey’s

In a small bowl, stir together the confectioners sugar and cocoa powder. In another bowl, beat the butter until creamy, gradually beat in the sugar mixture, being sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl, occasionally. Finally stir in the coffee, and beat until smooth.

Decorate as you please!